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UPDATED: Social media claims Kenney, cabinet ministers caught breaking COVID rules on top of Sky Palace

Kenney’s office says the gathering followed all the COVID rules.

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Social media was losing it’s mind Wednesday afternoon as pictures started to circulate of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on the patio of the Sky Palace, with a group of his UCP colleagues.

Internet critics started to bay that Kenney was breaking COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

But Kenney’s office quickly pointed out the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings changed on Tuesday, with up to 10 being allowed.

“Albertans are happy that our province is moving in the right direction, and we fully expect that many Albertans are now enjoying the increased gatherings that Stage 1 allows. The Premier, with a few ministers and staff members, held a working dinner last night,” said Kenney’s office in a statement.

“Attendance was kept under 10. Costs were not incurred by taxpayers. 

Long distance shot of the Sky Palace’s patio. Pictures from The Breakdown

Current COVID-19 regulations say people can sit in groups of four on a bar patio – but they must be from the same household. Social distancing must also be observed.

The pictures appear to show Premier Jason Kenney, Environment Minister Jason Nixon and Health Minister Tyler Shandro outside on a deck of the old Federal building.

Kenney et al on the roof of the Sky Palace Pictures from The Breakdown

They are joined by an unidentified woman and two unidentified men. Two other men are seen walking away from the table.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Susan Grant

    June 5, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Geez, who is the woman because it sure looks like Angela!

  2. Tamara Laschinsky

    June 3, 2021 at 11:38 am

    Do they all live in the same household? NO? Well then they are breaking Covid rules. If they don’t know their own rules they need to step down.

  3. Penny4YourThouhts

    June 3, 2021 at 9:16 am

    This is a surprise to people? Really?

  4. Alan Litchfield

    June 3, 2021 at 8:48 am

    This is not a comment on the content of the pics as they speak for themselves depending on your political viewpoint. I’m just questioning how these were taken. It appears it may be from a drone or at least from someone stalking with an extreme telephoto lens. What if a drone was hovering over you right now? Or someone stalking you to photograph you? Also, just who is “The Breakdown”?

  5. Mars Hill

    June 2, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    The light weight is going out in style. We can do much better Alberta, let’s do it.

  6. Baron Not Baron

    June 2, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    There. Kenney is the “leader” on this one, so.. finally, beginning with this smack, we are out of social distance rules, masks and all the other so-called fuc&ing rules based on bullshit, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY !!

  7. Chantale N

    June 2, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    It is very honestly not even about whether we support masks, distancing or any of these rules –

    It is that it is disgustingly insulting to the thousands of Albertans who just got to start working after their third mandated closure, to the millions of Albertans who have been mandated to wear masks or be scapegoated, refused service and targeted & blamed for “second” and “third” waves of covid by our own government.

    It’s repulsive that small business owners are on the brink of losing it all or have costly court battles ahead because they simply couldn’t not work anymore without losing everything, yet our premier who forced these businesses to this point is having a great time over drinks against his very own rules…

    I don’t frankly care if taxpayers covered the cost of food and drink or not; we’re covering the cost of the building and thousands of people are just trying to keep treading water financially because this government figures “there’s CRB” and puts them on/off work at the flip of a switch every few months…

    We get it Kenney & company, we’re the f’ing peasants begging for crumbs by asking to work, by expecting our elected officials to follow the same rules they’ve put against millions 🙄

  8. Woodrow George

    June 2, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    CTV so-called News is running this story. Who GAF? MIT or some such bunch did a study: the 2 metre distancing thing is BS. FFS, stop drinking the Kenny-bashing Kool-Aid, guys!

  9. berta baby

    June 2, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Kenny and his inner circle… take note and don’t vote

  10. SidingWithRealConservatives

    June 2, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    What a disappointment this man has been. He tricked Albertans into thinking he is virtuous. He does not care about Alberta or Albertans. This man is a pit bull politician, well greased in playing the game. He’s just looking to increase his personal pensions and extract what he can from the public purse. What private sector skills does he really have. Having been in politics most of his adult life, he has no real transferable skills in the private sector and so will extract what he can from Alberta. We are due for a change in leadership here in Alberta!

  11. j n

    June 2, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    RESIGN

  12. John Clark

    June 2, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    The first lie Kenny told after the election was “I’m not going to lie anymore” How many politicians have to make that kind of public declaration?

  13. K

    June 2, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    HOW ABOUT NO RULES IF YOU CONTINUE TO VIOLATE THEM. WE ARE NOT BEHOLDEN TO YOUR ARBITRARY, ILLOGICAL, NON-FACTUAL LIES.

  14. Baron Not Baron

    June 2, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    RESIGN

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News

Civil service mag promotes immunization passports

Any mandatory scheme would see Canadians required to carry proof of vaccination to eat at a restaurant, visit a shopping mall or go to a baseball game, said the magazine.

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A magazine for Canadian public service managers says the country must introduce vaccine passports, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The immunity of the population is detrimental for the safe reopening of the economy and various jurisdictions across the world are exploring the idea of immunity certificates as an enabler,” said a commentary in Canadian Government Executive, a periodical published for federal public service managers.

“After a rigorous analysis of the issue of immunity certificates, this article concludes the necessity of immunity certificates in Canada as a key enabler for the safe reopening of the society and economy in a post-Covid world.”

Any mandatory scheme would see Canadians required to carry proof of vaccination to eat at a restaurant, visit a shopping mall or go to a baseball game, said the magazine.

“They can also be used to promote economic activities such as workplace safety, tourism etcetera,” said the periodical.

The magazine acknowledged Canadians were divided on the issue and numerous foreign jurisdictions have banned vaccine passports.

“It is important to note in the United States several states such as Florida, Texas, Arizona etcetera have either banned or prevented the mandatory use,” said the commentary.

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien in a May 19 statement said vaccine passports breached the Privacy Act since they compelled users and non-users alike to disclose personal health information to access public facilities.

“There must be clear legal authority for introducing use of vaccine passports,” said Therrien, adding Parliament would require “a newly enacted public health order or law” before any mandatory scheme could be introduced.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a January 14 podcast called it a divisive issue.

“I think the indications that the vast majority of Canadians are looking to get vaccinated will get us to a good place without having to take more extreme measures that could have real divisive impacts on community and country,” said Trudeau.

“I think it’s an interesting idea but I think it is also fraught with challenges. We are certainly encouraging and motivating people to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. We always know there are people who won’t get vaccinated, and not necessarily through a personal or political choice.

“There are medical reasons. There are a broad range of reasons why someone might not get vaccinated. I’m worried about creating undesirable effects in our community.”

Federal research shows about 12% of Canadians would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine under any circumstances. A total of 26% said they did not trust the Public Health Agency, according to the Statistics Canada report.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

Canada Post to make bank on lending operations

The union said loans would be issued in a test project at post offices in Halifax and Bridgewater, N.S. and surrounding rural areas, as well as Calgary and Red Deer by year’s end.

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“A roll of stamps and $30,000 please.”

That will soon be possible as, for the first time in 53 years, Albertans will be able to go to the post office for a loan.

Blacklock’s Reporter said Canada Post on Thursday confirmed outlets in Alberta and Nova Scotia will broker cash loans for the Toronto Dominion Bank.

“The market test goal is to offer the new financial service in over 249 Canada Post locations before the end of 2021,” the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said in a statement.

Post offices would offer Toronto Dominion loans of $1,000 to $30,000 at “competitive rates.”

Post offices currently sell money orders, gift cards and process electronic cash transfers but disbanded deposit-taking postal banks in 1968.

The union said loans would be issued in a test project at post offices in Halifax and Bridgewater, N.S. and surrounding rural areas, as well as Calgary and Red Deer by year’s end.

“CUPW continues to support the creation of an independent postal bank despite our current partnership with Toronto Dominion Bank,” said the union.

“Partnering with a financial institution does not put an end to the goal of an independent postal bank.”

Parliament in an 1867 Postal Act allowed post offices to hold cash deposits and offer cheque-cashing services. Postal banks at their peak in 1908 held the equivalent of a billion dollars on deposit.

A 2016 Department of Public Works survey found 39% of small business owners nationwide, and 44% on the Prairies, said they would use Canada Post banking services if offered.

The department paid $142,137 for the study by Ekos Research Associates Inc.

“I think Canada Post is very open to increased financial services, not necessarily ‘postal banking’,” Brenda McAuley, national president of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association, said in an earlier interview.

“I think the word ‘banking’ scares a lot of people. The banks don’t think it is necessary.

“There are islands in British Columbia where people have to take a ferry to get to a bank. We will look at pilot projects. I’ve got quite a few places on my radar.”

Canada Post in its 2020 Annual Report said it was “reinventing our retail model” at 6,084 post offices nationwide, including “assessing new financial services and options” mainly in rural Canada.

“Our vast retail network of post offices and dealer outlets across the country provides convenient locations and services with many of them offering evening and weekend hours to meet the changing needs of Canadians,” wrote management.

Jessica McDonald, then-chair of the Canada Post board, in 2018 testimony at the Commons government operations committee said the Crown corporation was “very open-minded” on resuming postal bank services.

“Postal banking has been under a tremendous amount of discussion and continues to be,” said McDonald.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

Vancouver’s Stanley Park shut down at night because of fire threat

“The closure is being activated in an effort to reduce the fire risk to the park, which is extreme due to the current drought conditions and sustained heat events.”

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The risk of fire is so extreme in Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park, officials are to start closing it on a nightly basis.

“The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation will be temporarily closing all non-essential access to Stanley Park between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am beginning tonight,” said the board in a Friday statement.

“The closure is being activated in an effort to reduce the fire risk to the park, which is extreme due to the current drought conditions and sustained heat events.”

The board said park rangers will set up temporary overnight access control points at five locations.

“The current conditions in Stanley Park are extreme right now and given the size of the park, the risk of a fire breaking out overnight when fewer people may notice it or report it presents a significant threat to the wellbeing of the park, its trees, wildlife, and everyone who relies on the park and its ongoing health,” said Amit Gandha, Director of Park Operations.

“We have been in close contact with our partners at Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services as well as the Vancouver Police Department and they fully support this proactive measure to reduce the risk of a catastrophic fire in the park.”

Vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and anyone who does not require access to the park will be turned around at access control points. 

Anyone requiring entry into the park during the closure, including the #19 bus, emergency services, patrons, and staff of park businesses, will be permitted to enter through the control points. Individuals who remain in the park after the closure begins will have unrestricted access to leave the park through the control points, said the board.

The access control points will be positioned at the following locations:

  • Traffic circle off Georgia St
  • The corner of Barclay and Park Lane
  • The corner of Beach Ave and Park Lane
  • The south exit of the Stanley Park Causeway
  • The north exit of the Stanley Park Causeway

The Causeway will remain open but access to the seawall will be closed.

The temporary closure will be in effect seven days a week beginning Friday, July 30 and will extend indefinitely until the fire risk has been significantly reduced.

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest urban park, with more than 400 hectares of naturalized West Coast forest. The park has approximately half a million trees – mostly cedar, fir, and hemlock – some of which are hundreds of years old.

Hundreds of wildfires are currently burning across BC.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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